One of the Reiki precepts is “be kind to others.” For Animal Reiki practitioners, this kindness is actively practiced when we share Reiki with other species on a daily basis. Of course the animals we live with have touched our hearts and changed our lives for the better, but for many other unusual species, it is the context of an Animal Reiki session that helps us realize our connectedness and to awaken to the spiritual gifts these animals teach.
Mikao Usui was Buddhist, and although he did not have specific teachings about connecting with the animals in our lives, I have no doubt that his teachings on compassion were not meant to extend only to human beings.
Following are three quotes from well-known Buddhist teachers that, for me, shed light on the way of compassion that Animal Reiki meditation inspires with us.
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By practicing our Animal Reiki meditation on a daily basis, we strengthen the compassion and loving-kindness muscles within our minds and hearts. Because all change in the world must begin within ourselves, this is our foundation for all our loving actions.
“Even if for the moment you cannot actually help a sentient being in an external way, meditate on love and compassion constantly over the months and years until compassion is knit inseparably into the very fabric of your mind.”
— H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
The more we awaken our minds and our hearts, the easier it will be to perform compassionate acts. The next quote helps us to remember we must connect our thoughts, our words and our actions in order to truly practice kindness.
“Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh
The final quote reminds us to extend our kindness not only to human beings, animals and other living creatures, but also to the environment and very planet where we live. As Reiki teaches us that we are all One, this quote, for me, is a beautiful embodiment of that teaching.
“Usually when people look at the Buddhist precepts, they understand them in terms of human relationships ‘Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not lie.’ Of course these are about human relationships, but what do they mean in terms of the environment? There is a particular kind of stealing that we do when we clear-cut forests, when topsoil is washed into rivers. There is a particular kind of killing that we do when we wipe out whole species. These precepts are taught not only as they relate to humans but also how they relate to the environment, to the ten thousand things. Not only the sentient, feeling beings, deer, muskrat, beaver but to the rocks, trees and river. All of it.”
— John Daido Loori